Austria's sports bike maker KTM plans to roll out Husqvarna brand in India by 2020 and production at partner Bajaj Auto's Chakan plan is expected to begin in late 2019. The company will use Bajaj Auto's Chakan plant to roll out the brand in the country. KTM already has an installed capacity to produce 1 lakh KTM bikes at Chakan. It plans to add another capacity of 1 lakh units for Husqvarna brand, taking the total capacity to 2 lakh units per annum for both KTM and Husqvarna brands. "It has been agreed upon and they (Husqvarna bikes) should be launched in India by 2020. That means by the end of 2019 the manufacturing should begin at Chakan," KTM CEO Stefan Pierer told PTI on the sidelines of EICMA 2017 here. The company plans to roll out products from Husqvarna's White Arrow and Black Arrow brands from Chakan, he added.
The company looks to bring the bikes with engine capacities ranging from 150 cc to 390 cc on platforms which
are similar to that of KTM. KTM currently manufactures Husqvarna bikes in Austria. When asked about manufacturing capacity at Chakan for both KTM and also Husqvarna brands, Pierer said: "This year we are already touching 1 lakh units with KTM programme. With Husqvarna, we want to double it to 2 lakh units." KTM sold over 40,000 units last year in India and this year it is expecting to cross 50,000 units, thus overtaking the US market, the current leading market for the brand. Pierer said KTM is also in talks with Bajaj for distribution of bikes in new global markets. "We are now talking for about some African countries from Ghana to Uganda, Ethiopia...also Iran...It can happen in a year's time," he said. The partners have already collaborated in various global markets including Nepal, Sri Lanka and Indonesia among others. Bajaj Auto and KTM have completed a decade of strategic partnership under which the Austrian bike maker's models DUKE 125–390 and RC 125–390 are produced in Bajaj's Chakan plant and are distributed by the two partners globally.
KTM had secured a long-term licence agreement with BMW in 2013 for the Husqvarna motorcycle, which was founded in 1903. It has been selling the bike in advanced markets, including Europe and Canada. Ever since KTM took over the Husqvarna brand, it has been selling mostly as off-road bike in the advanced countries. Now it plans to take it to on-road segment globally.